BOWL BONANZA

A look at where Texas teams (and LSU) will play in bowl games

Sam Ehlinger and the Longhorns will face Georgia. Richard Rodriguez/Getty Images

The bowl games are set, and the playoffs will feature Alabama vs. Oklahoma and Clemson vs. Notre Dame. But there are also six Texas schools and LSU playing in bowl games. Here is who they play, when they play and how the matchups look:

Saturday, Dec. 15

New Mexico Bowl (2 p.m., ESPN): North Texas vs. Utah State. North Texas finished off a 9-3 season with a win over UTSA and their reward is facing a very good Utah State team that went 10-2 and just missed out making the Mountain West title game. The Mean Green will be up against it. 

Saturday, Dec. 22

Armed Forces Bowl (3:30 p.m., ESPN): Houston vs. Army. The Cougars late collapse lands them in a difficult spot against a really good Army team. The Cougars will be without Ed Oliver against a team that can run the football. No D'Eriq King, either, which will make for a tough matchup for the Cougars.

Tuesday, Dec. 26

Cheez-It Bowl (9 p.m. ESPN): TCU vs. Cal. The Horned Frogs had a dissapointing season but  won their last two to garner bowl eligibilty and will look for a decent win over an improved Cal team.

Wednesday, Dec. 27

Texas Bowl (9 p.m., ESPN) Baylor vs. Vanderbilt. The Bears had a surprising season, earning bowl eligibilty on the last week of the season. They will face a Vanderbilt team they should be able to compete with.

Monday, Dec. 31

Taxslayer Bowl (6:30 p.m., ESPN): Texas A&M vs. NC State. The Aggies get a decent matchup with NC State after an eight win debut for Jimbo Fisher. This should be a good opportunity for the Aggies.

Tuesday, Jan. 1

Fiesta Bowl (1 p.m., ESPN): LSU vs. UCF. The Tigers get to be the Group of Five team that faces UCF this year. The Golden Knights will be without their starting QB, but they still thumped Memphis without him. An intriguing matchup.

Sugar Bowl (8:45 p.m., ESPN): Texas vs. Georgia. The Longhorns get a New Year's Six bowl despite losing in the Big 12 title game, and their reward is a Georgia team that might lack motivation considering they were close to making the playoff. 

Most Popular

SportsMap Emails
Are Awesome

Listen Live

Texans fall to Browns. Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images.

The Houston Texans kept it closer than the experts thought they would, but couldn't pull out a victory. Here are 11 observations from the loss in Cleveland to the Browns.

1. The game looks totally different if Texans quarterback Tyrod Taylor finishes the game. Taylor left at halftime with a hamstring injury. He was playing exceptionally well against his former team. Taylor is not expected to play Thursday according to NFL Network.

2. Davis Mills had a rocky NFL debut which was to be expected. Mills looked to have the wrong elements of a few plays. He also couldn't hit backup wideout Andre Roberts over the middle and threw an interception. It was a fine performance considering what Mills showed he could do in the preseason.

3. Mills didn't work with a full load of offensive weapons in the second half. Rookie wideout Nico Collins didn't return to the game after his lone catch and big run early in the game. Veteran slot receiver Danny Amendola left the game with an injury. Tight end Anthony Auclair left with an eye injury. The Texans entered the game without wide receiver Anthony Miller who was inactive.

4. Brandin Cooks is a monster through two games. He is the most dangerous skill position player on the team, and defenses still have trouble covering him and staying with him. Cooks turned in yet another impressive day for this team and hauled in a Davis Mills touchdown pass.

5. The Browns did a solid job against the ground game of the Texans. Mark Ingram averaged under three yards per carry and Tyrod Taylor was the only rusher to have a big play on the ground. This led to a fair number of third-and-long situations which the Texans usually had trouble converting.

6. Justin Reid was set to increase his payday on his next contract with his early play. Reid forced a fumble and had an interception in the first half. Unfortunately, Reid would leave the game multiple times with injuries. The knock on Reid has always been his health.

7. The Texans were worn down by the Browns rushing attack all day. Once Cleveland committed to the run they saw the success of their work culminating in a 26-yard scamper by Nick Chubb for a touchdown. The Browns didn't run as much as I excepted them to run early.

8. Tim Kelly had another nice day calling plays. Kelly remains creative in finding ways to get the ball out of Taylor's hands quickly as well as manufacturing matchups where the Texans can win and pick up yards. He even got creative to get Davis Mills a passing touchdown late in the game. Kelly has been very impressive through two games.

9. Andre Roberts was inexcusably bad today. The Texans defense held on the opening drive and his muffed punt eliminated the momentum from the defensive stand. He also had poor returns on kickoffs. His lone job is to be a solid returner, and he failed at that on Sunday.

10. David Culley had a head-scratching decision foregoing an offsides call on a third down. The head coach opted for the result of the third down, and a punt on fourth down, instead of another third down. He did not explain himself well postgame on the decision either.

11. The Texans hung tough and should feel solid about where they could have been without the injury to their quarterback. With no Taylor in the short week, it will not be easy to beat the Panthers who upset the Saints on Sunday.

SportsMap Emails
Are Awesome